Indian Wells 2017
Roger Federer’s fairytale comeback continues. After his early exit from Dubai, the Swiss has quickly found a way to the winners circle. In Sunday’s final in an all Swiss battle he defeated his compatriot Stan Wawrinka 6:4 7:5 to claim his second title of the season. He has also become the oldest (at age 35) Masters 1000 winner of all time. He’s captured his 5th Indian Wells title, and 90th career title.
“It’s been just a fairytale week once again,” said Federer. “I’m still on the comeback. I hope my body is going to allow me to keep on playing. I was very sad when I couldn’t come here last year. Just being here is a beautiful feeling. It’s one of my favourite tournaments. I came here for the first time 17 years ago. So to be here again as the champion is an amazing feeling.”
Stan Wawrinka did all he could to fight back and broke for a 2-0 lead in the beginning of the second set. This was the first time Roger was broken in his last 42 service games. But Stan’s lead didn't last long, Roger quickly broke back to level the set and broke Stan’s serve again at 5:4 lead to claim the title.
During the trophy ceremony, the emotional speech Wawrinka said, “I’m sorry. I’m just tired after 10 days, so, sorry, I would like to congratulate Roger. I lost a tough one against you, but when you played the final in Australia, I was still your biggest fan. Anybody who knows tennis loves to watch you, so it's always good to see you back at that level, hopefully for many years.”
Both players are already preparing to play their matches in Miami’s Crandon Park. With Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic both absent from the tournament, Stan debuts as no. 1 seeded player. No doubt both Stan and Roger are seen as the heavy favourites to win the title, along with Rafa Nadal, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic.
Two Russian players met in the women’s final in Indian Wells Tennis Garden. No. 18 seed Elena Vesnina and no. 8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. Both players played a very successful tournament. Vesnina, on route to the final, defeated 2 Grand Slam winning players, Kerber and Venus Williams. Kuznetsova, on the other hand, avenged her earlier losses to the compatriot Pavlyuchenkova, having previously lost to her in Sydney and Melbourne this year, and followed it up with an impressive win over world no. 3 Karolina Pliskova in two tie-break sets.
Svetlana Kuznetsova won the first set in the tie break and looked to have things firmly under control when she lead 4:1 in the second set. Vesinina just wouldn't go away, she played very aggressive tennis and pushed Kuznetsova far behind the baseline making it hard for her to attack and defend. She managed to win the set 7:5. In the third set Kuznetsova was broken again but managed to comeback to level terms only to be broken again to give the younger Russian 5:4 lead. Vesinia held her nerve during her service game and won the match 6:7 7:5 6:4 to claim her biggest career title yet. With the win Elena also reaches her career high ranking at no. 13 while Svetlana also rises from no. 8 to 7 in the WTA rankings.
After the match Vesnina said, ’’I won the title, and this sounds like a miracle for everybody, for you guys, for me, for, I think, all the girls out there. I think nobody could pick me at the beginning of the tournament that I could win this title. Me, also. I couldn't pick myself! But then when I was kind of getting closer to this stage, and even today, I knew that Svetlana was the favourite of the match. I didn't care. I just wanted this title so much."
Svetlana reflecting on her loss said, ”I didn't feel comfortable at all today on the court.” I was trying to do the best I could, you know, but this is the type of day when you don't play your best tennis and you've got to still give your best effort. I tried my best and she won because she was more aggressive than I did. I was too passive. That's it. Too much behind and didn't serve well, I think it was key points.’’
Despite the result she also had positive things to say about her performance in the Californian desert. ’’I gotta be positive’’, I made finals here, and that's great. I lost a match which I should have won, but this is tennis. Nobody died, so I move on, and I'm on a good way. I'm playing better. I'm winning lots of matches in a good way, in two sets. I'm really positive.”
WTA tour joins ATP tour in Miami this week.